Three former U.S. residents and one American citizen have been identified by counterterrorism experts as potential successors to the al-Qaida No. 2 killed in a Predator attack early Monday, NBC News reported.
One of them is Adam Gadahn, a 33-year-old American known as Azzam al Amriki, or “Azzam the American.”
He was once viewed as an al-Qaida propagandist, but is now considered a strategist.
The death of al-Qaida’s second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi forces the terrorist group’s highest council to face the task of filling both a leadership vacancy and selecting a jihadist able to succeed current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. However, according to Michael Keiter, former director of the National Counter Terrorism Center and an NBC News analyst, the candidates reportedly being considered lack al-Libi’s seasoning.
“The real answer is none of them are serious by comparison,” Leiter said.